Yana Caves – ಯಾಣ ಗುಹೆಗಳು

Recently , I  ticked a place on my travel wish list which I so wanted to visit and that place is known as Yana Caves. These caves are located in the premise of a small village named Yana in Kumta which is near to Gokarna, Karnataka.

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Monsoon is not that great idea to visit this place but even after much of difficulties I managed to reach to the top. Certainly, I am not going to discuss any history related to this place as this blog is more of based on my observation.

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I was staying at MG rooms, which is near to Gokarna beach and from there the distance of Yana caves is approx. 55 km. So, I opted for a car rather being a nomad as I had only a day to explore places.

 

One can also opt for 3-wheeler auto, they will charge around Rs.1500/- per auto for trip to 4-5 places. In an auto only 3 people are allowed. Going from bus is also an option but for that you need to be punctual all the time because bus services here are quite rare.

 

Things to pack before going to the caves

  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, mosquito & worm repellent , hat, umbrella.
  • Keep raincoat, waterproof bag, plastic sheets, first-aid, lighter, pepper spray and Swiss knife.
  • Wear waterproof shoes, keep extra pair of clothes.
  • Do not wear white.

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Trek to Yana Caves

Entering to this is completely free. Reaching to Yana Caves would not be that easy for few because one has to trek for 2km and then have to walk up 200 steps.

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I assure you this might seems tiring but believe me the arena will keep you showing a magical show every minute. So, it will take around 1 hour maximum to reach to the top. While trekking few things you need to take care of which I am listing down below.

  1. At the very starting of the trek, you will meet a tailless black cat. Do not get into any superstitious story of ghost around . That cat will follow you up for 0.5km just because it knows tourist will offer something to eat.
  2. I was wearing slipper during trek as it was raining as I had no option but I would suggest you guys to wear waterproof hiking shoes and along with that if you could wear leech socks.
  3. Leeches, yes during monsoon especially this place is full of leeches. So, be very careful while going up or down.
  • Walk in the middle of the path as leeches most of the time hide under shade and at the corners.
  • Keep walking, don’t lean on trees, benches etc.
  • Keep small packet of salt along with you. If in case leeches start making love with your blood just sprinkle salt on it, it will immediately leave the surface.
  • Never try to pull out leech, if its already sucking your blood as it can make bleeding unstoppable.
  • You can use leech repellent, sprays.
  • On running water, you can not find leeches so you can be a water baby.
  • Keep first-aid along. Particularly antiseptic.

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One more thing, this trek has only one washroom is available there on half way.

Flora and Fauna

If you are fond of seeing variety of plants and small creatures then go ahead. This place is perfect for the exploration. As on the way to the top I met centipede, cat, snake, worms and obviously leeches. This whole forest is full of mosses, ferns, colocasia, berries and several other useful plant or trees. Do not try to eat any one it as it might be poisonous.

On the top

There are 2 hills one is named Bhairaveshwara Shikhara which is 390 ft in height and the Mohini Shikhara which 90ft in height where Shikhara” means “hill. The first one is open for general public whereas I didn’t see any way to Mohini Hill. At the bottom of Bhairaveshwara hill you will see a self-made Shiv Ling which is present in the Gangodbhava Temple.

Way inside to the cave is through the temple, so if you wish to enter the cave one needs to remove his/her footwear . You need to be very careful while stepping up as surface is full of algae ergo it makes it more slippery and no way to cop.

Rest the cave is not that huge, it will just take around 15-20 minutes to see and capture things. Visit to the temple is incomplete if you will not circle around the same through the caves.

Trekking Down

If you want to sip in tea or coffee at the top or at the starting. Then, there you will find only a shop at the top and in the starting. Be little extra careful when trekking down. I unfortunately visited in monsoon which made trek 70% more dangerous. I had taken great care while putting even a step. A walking stick can help which you can get from the mother nature.

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Overall, It was a really very unique and nice experience to cross several water streams and being a pebble walker. I indeed suggest all to visit this place to make yourself lost in the natural world for a while.

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Extra info-

  • I had a great company whole way, as I was travelling with my family and a very responsible driver named Sachin. So, for all who wants to explore Gokarna in a budget and that too  in your own chariot then you can certainly call Sachin. As he is well- aware of every nook and corner of Gokarna. You can rely on his driving skills too.

 

      Sachin – +91-9481204432 ( You can refer my name Shilpa, if needed)

Mentioned number of this person as many of you have asked me to   keep sharing the information, contacts which can help them too to make their trips more interesting.

  • No telecom network will work here.
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Weekend Fun: F9 Go Karting

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This weekend spent so amazingly well. It was in my wish-list to do “Go karting” with my female bunch. So, I landed up at “F9 Go karting” as I had heard good words about the place so, I desperately wanted to know what all this place has to offer me. 

How to reach?

By Metro (Cheapest way)

The nearest metro station is IFFCO chowk , which is on the yellow line towards Huda city. This place is around 1.5-2 km far from the metro station. You can opt for the shared auto,e-rickshaw or can take 3-wheeler. Though the option of cabs are also available from the metro station. Travelling cost would be like Rs.58 (Metro) ,shared auto-10rs/person, e-rickshaw- 20/person and full auto for Rs.50.

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This adventurous space had been established in year 2010. Mr.S.K Tyagi is the sole owner of the place. From the outside this place is creatively made using truck chambers.

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From inside they have nice track, scraps have been used cleverly to make washrooms.

To make experience better I am listing out best things.

Best Things

  • Helmet hygiene- A new term for you? Well I am writing helmet hygiene as this was the first time I saw a Go karting people using shower cap before placing helmet on your head. 10/10 for that. 

  • Skilled and motivating trainer- The crew is actually helpful and they do guide you so well before the race.

  • Height issue sorted- If you are thinking how I am gonna put my feet on paddles as I am too short? Don’t worry they have the right solution to not let your enthusiasm go down.

  • Video and picture- As you gonna be busy in driving, duh then who gonna take picture and videos? Well don’t worry you just need to give your phone to them and tadda they will capture it perfectly.

  • Pocket-friendly- I had searched several apps to get the best price for Go Karting. Trust me they will offer more than your expectation. I had opted for Rs.350 package for 7 laps whereas got 3 laps free as a surprise.
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  • They have restaurant attached to the track- What could be more beautiful than cheering your friends while having sumptuous food. So, don’t forget to be the part of this fun fiesta.
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  • Super easy for non-drivers – Do you have a question of how to drive a go kart as you don’t know driving? chill ! they don’t ask for driving license rather they help you to learn it better as there is no clutch or gear change . Its just about race and brakes. 

I had great conversation with Mr.S.K Tyagi ( owner) , where he shared many information about the place. He is so kind and fun when it comes to the children. He moreover offered us free laps later and also the whole track to get ourselves clicked. 

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Timings for Go Karting is – 1 pm to 10 pm

So, next time when your heart wants to do something new and different on weekends. Don’t hesitate in experiencing the things you never tried before. Like I tried “Go Karting”.

Indian Girls On The Portugal Land

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Gigantic waves of aggravation and woebegone life had whipped us hard . It was the right time to revitalize our subfusc souls. We four women decided to head to the smallest state of India that is Goa.

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This time I opted for Duronto train to travel till Madgaon from Delhi. We got the train from the Nizamuddin Railway Station.  After the 2 days long journey we reached Madgaon at 4:00 in the morning .

 

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As we all had wanted to save money, we opted for the state minibuses rather hiring a cab till Arambol, north Goa. The cab charges around Rs.1900-2500 (Depends on how rich you look). We got in a small crowded bus till Kadamba bus depot. The bus stand is opposite to the Madgaon railway station main exit gate.

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Travelling in bus could be tiring

How to reach Arambol from Madgaon Railway Station by state buses. In total we changed 4 buses.From Madgaon Railway Station Bus stand we traveled to Kadamba bus stand we got bus from there to Panaji bus stand to get a bus to Mapusa then from there to Arambol. where we had booked the cottage.

Other Important Information

Money asked by cab driver-Rs.1900

Madgaon to Kadamba- Rs10 / person

Kadamba to Panjim – Rs.40 / person

Panjim to Mapusa- Rs.15 / person

Mapusa to Arambol- Rs.25 / person

The total time consumed in traveling in buses was around 3 hours. I would suggest if you can manage to travel by bus , do travel this way. Trust me you will save a lot. We saved Rs.1500.

We had made our booking for 5 days with the “Arambol Cottages” located in Arambol . This cottage allows you to stay at budget, moreover it is only 0.5km from the beach. Spotting beautiful birds, Gray Langurs are common around the cottage. We landed in  the cottage around 9:00 am. We decided to rest a bit, then we hired a car . Hiring a car could be a task if you haven’t booked it afore as people will charge you maniacally. We were blessed to have a helpful, responsible and a friendly cottage owner named Upender. He helped us to get an Alto car for Rs.1000/day, additional charges of petrol was on us.

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From left to right- Anita, Ruchi, Upender, Me, Jyotsna

Things to notice, before hiring a vehicle

  • Check for scratches,oils,documents in front of the owner.
  • Check for tyres as most of the roads are heated, uphill, downhill so grooves matter.
  • Check for fuel provided by them. (Do return vehicle with the same amount of fuel)
  • Look for a vehicle which has great mileage & less fuel consumption. ( Like I opted for Alto 800).
  • Do not forget to bargain. ( I bargained from Rs.1200 to Rs.1000)

Around 1:00 pm we headed to see Fort Aguada, which was 32 km from our place. The roads are curvy , might be fun during day time but drive carefully in the night.

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Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada has a parking lot for vehicles for free. Fort Aguada is located on Sinquerim beach. This fort is divided into two floors one upper part is where lighthouse is located and other dungeon part where Portuguese ships used to rest ( Closed for public). This Portugal fort was strategically built near the mouth of Mandovi river which was meant to look after the Arabian Sea. The meaning of Aguada is Jal/ Water storer because during 17th century ships used to come here to filled there drinking containers with fresh water. Inside the premise of the Fort Aguada , you will find a light house which was used to store around  2,000,000 gallons of water also.

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This fort shows one of the best living example of Portugal military architecture. Made of common stone to be found in Goa that is the laterite stone. Authorities have closed the entry inside the lighthouse for public. 

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Additional Information about the fort aguada

  • It is open all day of the week from 9:30am-6:00pm.
  • No tickets required for the entrance.
  • Photography and Videography allowed for free.
  • Carry water along.

Arambol Beach in the night

We came back to the Arambol around 7:30 pm. We all decided to explore local shops and have dinner somewhere. The moment we reached beach it was all dark. If you are fond of peace and least human activities, then do visit this beach. We found one shack there , who was offering candle night dinner on the beach. I had lemonade and veg noodles there. Rest, i did not like the place in the night.

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Additional Tips

  • Do not carry much cash.
  • Do carry something to save yourself irrespective of gender.

Second Day

Next morning, wasn’t a good morning for me as I had bout of dehydration, fever and hence ORS was my wandering partner. Still I pushed myself as for the rest of mates ,it was the first time visit to Goa and all were dependent on me to roam around. So, on second day we decided to explore Harvelam Cave , Arvalem/Harvalem Waterfall, Tiracol Fort and Ferry ride.

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Harvalem Waterfalls

I had not wanted my travel mates to experience , explored Goa  Rather i had wanted them to see bit unexplored. So, I chose this place. This waterfall is located in quite an aloof place in Sanquelim, in a short distance from Bicholim town. Use Arvalem instead Harvalem to ask the way to this location. This place is easily reachable through car and bike .From Arambol it is 48 km far. This place for sure give a sense of happiness.

 

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This waterfall is surrounded by the great topiary. The height of the waterfall is around 50m. Near this waterfall you will find soul releasing temple named Rudreshwari Temple and also Haravalem caves. We did not get the chance to see the caves properly because renovation work was happening at that time.

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Additional info

  • No washroom there or around.
  • Do not cross the water from where the red band commence.
  • Do not waste a whole day to see this, add in list if on the way.
  • No entrance charge.
  • No entry before sunrise and after sunset.

Tiracol Fort

The distance between Arvalem caves to the Tiracol fort was great, it was almost 62 km. After driving for an hour , we reached fort Tiracol around 4 pm. The fort has been converted into a beach heritage hotel.

 

Few areas inside are open for general public till 5 pm. The fort is famous for its view of Tiracol river estuary. Inside this 17th century made fort you will find a church named Holy Trinity/ St.Andrew Church ( not open for general public) and big statue of Lord Jesus named St.Andrew. The whole place offers serenity.Rooftop- Tavern Restaurant Lounge Bar and Verandah – Garden Cafe( Al Fresco ) are there. This top of the cliff situated fort is a must visit because of the splendid view it offers.

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View from the top of the Tiracol Fort

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Church St. Andrew and Statue of St.Andrew

It is one amongst those fort which is considered as the pride of Goa because this architectural piece aided in freedom of Goa. You will also find a village on the way named village Tirakhol.

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  • All uphill and downhill drive.
  • Locally people call it “Terekhol Quila/Fort”.
  • Timing – 9am to7pm.
  • Take a ferry to reach here.

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Ferry Ride

We were finding way on the GPS to go back to Arambol and internet left us on the verge of sinking our quad-craft. We landed at a ferry station.

 

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Luckily, we got ferry who had carried us along with our car to drop us the other side of the tiracol river which opens up towards mapusa. Which actually chopped half our way & time to reach Arambol. For the ride you can take ticket from the ticket counter.

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Car having ferry ride

Additional information

  • Park & take out your vehicle from the ferry, only if you are sure you can. Otherwise take help.
  • Charges for 4 people+car – Rs.10 ( isn’t unbelievable? ).

Third Day

Again, I was suffering from the high fever but again it was the time to push myself to keep all curious cookies energize. Today was the day for us to go for the water sports. I opted Anjuna Beach for this. Though I did not go for any water sports as I am hydrophobic and also I had fever. While waiting for them , i rested my feet at a shacks under the shade of umbrella placed ashore the sea.

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I was shattered to see the condition of sand there at Anjuna. It was all black and plastic was everywhere. I collected many plastic bottles, straws  thrown by tourists and localites.

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Black oily sand and plastic

I wish i could ban water sports and plastics  as its making water and sand polluted.

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Additional Info

  • Better to park vehicle in the parking area.
  • Do not hesitate in asking shacks and hotel for loo.
  • Do not forget to bargain for water sports.
  • Do not support using plastic and throwing them on beach.

Disco-Deewane

We came back to the cottage to adorn ourselves to go to the club. We had several options in calangute but we chose Mamboz. Before entering to the club we thought of ambling around the beach. As we were women, people asked us several question like

  • How much do you charge?
  • Are you free?
  • Do you wanna see, what my bottom has to offer you?

How shameful but I believe in fisting such bouncing jerks.

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Quad pic at Mamboz Club

I did not like the clubs much. First because of the music, second because of the interfering club workers. We were in Mamboz till 2:30am. Afterwards we headed towards our cottage. Caught by the police also as they doubted on us that we are keeping drugs with us. But unfortunately they did not find any.

Additional info

  • Girls entry are free mostly in all clubs.
  • Be careful, as people tend to mix stuffs in your drink. ( It actually happens)
  • Do not leave eve-teasers at all.
  • One person has to be not boozing if you have vehicle to drive or ride.

Fourth Day

I personally had great interest in seeing Dudhsagar waterfalls. So, this day was booked to see this waterfall which was around 100 km from Arambol. As I was sick, I asked my cottage owner cum boon companion-Upender, to take us there as he was the only person who we could  trust. Moreover, he agreed on taking us there.

 

I drove till Mapusa, from there Upender took the charge. It took around 2:30 hrs to reach there. Thankfully Upender was aware of every nook and corner which helped us in reaching there in less time. Going to the falls will cost you Rs.550/person ( life jacket, cab charges and entry charge)

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Steps to follow on reaching there

  • Park your vehicle in the parking.
  • Book seats in a cab provided by Goa Tourism ( Ticket available at the nearby counter) .
  • Rent Life SAving JAckets.
  • Be quick in sitting in the cab to grab seat of your choice.
  • Further entering into the Dudhsagar fall region you have to pay Rs.250/person.
  • They will give you 1 hr to have fun.

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This place i found over crowded, people were drunk there. You need to be careful before stepping in water as stones are slippery and water is quite deep. This waterfall provide a view of beautiful stream falling straight from 1070 ft height. During monsoon the gush of the fall is more mesmerizing says locals. Monkeys are nuisance there. So, do not carry anything to eat and drink as they surely gonna take all away or might attack .

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In return, we all had food at one of the nearby restaurant. Then we headed to see Basilica of bom jesus, Church of St. Francis and  Dauna PAula.

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Dauna Paula

Though it’s  a very famous tourist spot in south goa. We reached there around 7pm. All markets and the view were closed. Still you can spot localite fishing and catching squids, fishes etc. Rest boat lights on the surface of the sea create glitter effect on water. Afterwards we had dinner at chaperem. Then we headed back to the cottage.

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Fifth Day

The worst day of my trip. As i was so ill that i couldn’t  even get up from the bed. Whereas rest of the girls decided to roam around on scooty. I chose to be at cottage to sleep and take great care of mine.

I woke around 4 pm, then I decided to explore Mandrem Beach. I took help of my cottage manager to reach Mandrem. I walked straight to the bus stand. People call Mandrem beach as “Maandrem” .

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Though bus dropped me 1.5 km ahead of exact location. A local boy helped me by giving lift to the beach.

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I sat there silently , captured few creatures then as the sun was setting down fever was rising.

 

I kept waiting for my friends in cold but after 1 :30 hours of wait they end up saying they couldn’t find the way. On the way back I spotted local market and restaurants .  

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Around 8pm, we had dinner at a local junk food halt. Then we headed to the Dabolim Airport by booking a cab for Rs.1500. We had a very nice driver named Angelo, along with us. Who safely dropped us to the airport.

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I am still suffering from the bad health condition. Whereas I am utilizing this time in creating list of the places to visit this year. Hence more blogs are on the way.

 

” Little Tibet “

( It is an audio blog ; to let those experience words who have mastered the art of hearing. Link – https://soundcloud.com/mataktibum/little-tibet  )

 

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When you bunk a day with your best mate, then that day surely becomes a memorable day. On June 29,2017 all of the sudden I decided to visit “Little Tibet” in Delhi, famously known as “Majnu kaTilla”.

What’s special there?

  • – A different culture to experience.
  • – Shopping
  • – Tibetan Food.
  • – Photographic elements.
  • – Peace at monastery.

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How to reach?

Metro is the best mode of transportation to reach here. Get down at Vidhan Sabha metro station then take rickshaw or e-rickshaw for Rs.20 for two people till the foot over bridge connecting to Tibet monastery.

I had only one hour to do quick ‘snap and roam’.So, I entered from the main monastery gate , though thought of capturing a lot of things but I did not as sometimes you just need to enjoy atmosphere.

There ,I tried “Lhaphing” urf cold noodles .Actually available at many small stalls and shops there.

It is a very yummy Tibetan street food. Available in two varieties that is dry or soup dishes of it. The price varies from Rs.20 to Rs.30.

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The scent snake had started attacking my nostrils hard; simultaneously was activating my taste buds too. I headed to Tee-Dee, favourite spot since 2011.

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Ordered fruit beer, tingmo (Tibetan bread) and Tee-Dee special non-veg beef choupsey. Well, at the end it was the time to score food. Tingmo is a round traditional bread was soft and was moist as apt hence 9/10.This time the choupsey was low on quality and taste hence I would give 6/10.The total bill was of Rs.270.

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While crossing lanes and observing things I landed up in a garden full of tibetan prayer flags.It was all colourful. You all must have guessed now, that I took quite many pictures there.

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To go back to the metro station, you can find many autos ( for Rs.30) and rickshaws for ( for Rs.20/2 persons) and e-Rickshaws ( for Rs.10/person) .

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My quick ‘Snap and Roam’ time ended up soon …. ❤

 

 

My fable of Rajasthan foray

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Sunset at dunes , pc – Shilpa Sharma 

We were running, we were running with high hopes to catch the train to the Jaisalmer, which was about to leave from the platform no 9 at 5:35 pm.Still, I along with two friends were waiting outside the Purani Delhi railway station main entrance. Our hearts were throbbing as fast as it was just 5 minutes to train to depart. Eventually, rest two people arrived with their heavy luggage. Then we turned on our Bollywood scene of Jab we met where we started running towards the platform to catch train .

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Purani Delhi Railway Station 

The planning for this trip had started a month back while I was having conversation with my best one .where she shared her desire to see desert in 2017. I had started research to make her wish perfect and memorable. I pitched location pins at two places that are Jaisalmer and Jaipur.

Along with me and my chum, other four people had wanted to be the part of this experience. As they all were working professionals and according to their wish-list, I had to design an itinerary of three days with a twist of having all important locations covered with a tinge of unexplored ones.

We boarded train and it was 18 hrs long journey to Jaisalmer from Delhi. We shared our seats with some of the local passengers, we struggled to even step out of our berth to the toilet as till the Rewari the plight of train was so pathetic still we were enjoying every bit of it because we don’t see these activities daily.

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                                     Rajiya gundo meh phas gayi, inside train scene 

Early morning, I felt air whispering in my ear. I felt my chum cuddling me with true cheer. A layer of dust had made a natural cape around me.

The series of colourful turbans and fluorescent dupattas had started appearing at local station hence it took me half a second to confirm that yes we have reached the core of Rajasthan.

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The live play of turbans and colourful dupattas 

We were late by 1 hour. The moment, we stepped down the train on the platform and the first reaction of my trip-mates– “God it’s so hot”.

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Reaction shot of three musketeers at Jaisalmer railway station 

It was really hot even in the month of February where Delhi was just bidding adieu to winter. We reached there around 12:30 pm.

We started looking for autowalas and cab walas outside the station for roaming a bit around and to reach Desert camp. According to the itinerary, we saw Mandir Palace and Kuldhara on the way. To give it more regional touch; do not forget to say Kuldhara not Kul-dhara. Finally got a cab for Rs.1100 which was completely fine as it had included,

  • Mandir Palace
  • Halt at dhabba
  • Kuldhara – the empty village
  • Halt at Windmill farm
  • 40km Highway drive to desert camp

For Rs.1100 we booked Bolero for 6 people. Hence do not forget to bargain. Moreover, feel free to keep your inexpensive and heavy luggage inside the cab, while roaming around.

Experience at Mandir Palace

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 Mandir Palace , Jaisalmer city 

The moment you will enter inside the palace premises, first thing you will spot buffaloes munching husk and a lot of their dung. After paying Rs.80/person for tickets and Rs. 30 for either one camera or phone camera, we entered the main area.

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Mandir Palace , entrance 

The whole palace is a Heritage hotel cum museum where visitors have access only to the museum and one mandir inside.

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  Museum at Mandir palace 

It is worth a visit for once if you are fond of seeing the lifestyle of Maharajas and Maharani in old days.

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One section where I spotted old cameras like twin lens reflex and Kodascope kind of allured me a lot.

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We chose a dhabba very next to the Mandir palace to save time to roam rest. We ordered Idli Sambar, Kadi Chawal, Lassi, Veg-thali and the bill came out to be something like Rs.600. The food was below average but was good enough to fill our stomach.

Experience at Kuldhara

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Kuldhara, Jaisalmer 

Next place to spot on was The Kuldhara- empty village. It is 17km west of Jaisalmer. We paid Rs. 110 for the entry of vehicle inside. It was a stretch of 1-1.5km to reach the exact village from the toll booth.

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I had heard a lot of stories about this place. According to the people this village had been emptied 200 years ago by a community of Paliwal Brahmin as the king had fallen in love with the beauty of the Panchayats head’s daughter.  Secretly, the people on Amavasya night left this village. Before leaving this village, they had cursed this place as no one in the future will be able to settle this village. Kuldhara today is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India as a heritage site. People there have reported of hearing random screeching sound in the night hence they do close door of this place after the sunset. Still it has got the title of Ghost village in Jaisalmer.

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The analysis, I had done before visiting is (as I had to see the safety of all, before putting this place in the list) – The Kuldhara perfectly represent how the people in Jaisalmer especially Brahmins in JSM used to stay. This place symbolises their lifestyle, their quandary at that time. Recent studies by a group of geologists have proved that this place had been adversely affected by a strong earthquake which left the mud houses broken and unrecoverable. The terror had completely engulfed those who were staying here.

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For more info please read

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/haunted-kuldhara-destroyed-by-earthquake-not-abandoned-study/articleshow/56880680.cms

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/decoded-why-people-fled-Jaisalmer-s-ghost-villages-200-years-ago/story-MRn8JcNQcIb9BClu0pZp1O.html

Moreover, I noticed the activities of few youngsters there, which includes drinking alcohol at the corner of destroyed part and puffing drugs.

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Hence one could easily guess the logic behind screeching sound and obviously who can stop animals to play with their voices in the night?

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On the way, we asked to stop the cab to capture few images with windmills as I was travelling with all bouncing buns.

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Be careful while capturing as on highway it is hard for the people to stop vehicle from 90 to 0 km/hr, all of the sudden.

We checked-in to desert tents around 3:30pm. The first expression I got from the girls who were travelling with me was- wow! It is going to be awesome.

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We had booked a package of Tent stay, Camel safari, Sunset at Dunes, Jeep ride, Rajasthani dinner, folk music and DJ night.

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 Camel Safari at Thar desert 

Around 5pm in the evening, we started our camel safari to watch sunset from Thar Desert sand dunes. This was around 2km far from the tents. It was a great fun riding camel, the fun begins when camel starts running fast to reach highest point of sand dune. Later, camel charmer asked us to give money for camel’s jaggery. Which is completely your wish whether you want to give it or not.  Later we had Trolley ride around the dunes for Rs.300 for 6 persons. You can bargain it up to Rs.10 per person. On the way coming back, we got gypsy to ride on.

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Trolley ride at Thar desert 

The cultural programme started around 7pm in the evening, where folk dancers were performing with a lot of charm or sensitivity and surely projecting best of their culture. Nowadays, I have noticed these dancers have attained a new form of dangerous act in their performance to attract more audience and to get money as a praising gift.

Like they perform holding needle with their eye lashes, using eye lashes to pull up blade. I personally do not support this and I request all to not support. Real traditional dance is more magnificent then these acts. We were served a plate of besan pakoras along with a cup of a tea while watching the performances.

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Meanwhile they had started serving Dinner at a dinner hall. We all decided to dance on DJ music rather. It was indeed a great night for us. Around 10:00pm we girls had our dinner after dancing. We had ker sangri, gatte ki sabzi, bajre ki roti, papad, paneer ki sabzi, salad, dal – baati, churma.

We gazed at stars for an hour, from sitting space just outside our tent.

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Who says- women are boring after certain age? Well, it is completely a false and baseless dictum because we all witnessed the each other’s crazy side though men were not allowed to hop in as they were busy snoring and coughing from the tent next to us.  We went to sleep around 3am in the night.

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Sorry for creased bed sheet 😀

I would personally suggest all those who are planning to explore Jaisalmer to not forget to stay at Desert Camps. For instance I was staying in Limra desert camp. This provides quality services from food till the stay. Even in an arena where finding water or any essentials is far difficult where these people will certainly help you in.

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 A photo with staffs of Limra desert camp

The staffs were very generous and friendly. Moreover, the tariff is perfectly in budget.

Next morning, according the plan we had to head towards Jaisalmer fort where we covered

  • Patwaon ki Haveli
  • Raja Ka Mahal
  • Streets and Shopping inside fort

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Juxtaposition of culture and history by Jitu Kashmira 

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  Front view of Golden fort 

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Raja Ka mahal 

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Shopping at jaisalmer street 

After getting tired from the vigorous explore and pose. We started searching for a new spree that is “Finding amazing food”. Finally, we crashed ourselves to a very nice looking roof top restaurant “Café Plus” (though they have the option to sit at ground floor also).

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Ambience wise it was so calm and it was very modernly adorned with junks.  They have very nice option of sitting on floor and on the concrete benches.  There we ordered Lemon soda, Coffee lassi, and sweet lassi and in food we ordered Veg noodles, fried rice and manchurian, Aalu Gobhi and naan, and some mix veg. The food was pretty good but I would not suggest having any beverages there. The moment I ordered Lemon soda they literally kept lemon juice and soda bottle in front of me.  My one trip-mate corrected it.

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             Corrected one 

We were enough charged to wander around to catch one vehicle to railway station as it was hardly 1.5 km from the Cafe plus. We got auto for Rs.50. We had train to catch at 5:30 pm to start another chapter of Rajasthan trip that is to Jaipur.

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Do not forget to have enough water along with you in the train as finding water later especially in the night would be difficult.

We reached Jaipur at 4:30 am, unfortunately we had not book a hotel for us as it was mentioned by the mates to not book it. Hence we suffered a bit. Whereas, we were 5 in totals so we thought of taking risk by asking cab people to take us to any budget hotel.  Finally we got a budget hotel named Hotel Hindustani near Railway station it had sufficient space and beds for us.  They had provided us sufficient number of Washrooms and Toilets to freshen up.  After resting a bit, we ordered breakfast at hotel only. We commenced our journey to roam here and there.

The trip-mates, had wanted to spend much time in shopping rather visiting monuments.  Hence I had kept my list so quick and small. That is,

  • Nahargarh fort
  • Street food explore
  • Jal Mahal
  • Hawa Mahal
  • Bapu Market
  • Dinner

Cab to Nahargarh charged us Rs.310 according to Ola.

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Later, in return we booked an auto for 5 people in Rs.200.

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The whole way is full of twists and turns; hence it was road adventure for most of us.

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After reaching Jal mahal, we started craving for street food as all the hawkers had crafted and adorned their stalls so beautiful.

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We ate Burger, Bhel puri, raw coconut water, Jal jeera. The food was OK not that good. This time, I spotted few men around who were into teasing girls there and commenting. Moreover they were capturing them secretly. I request all of you, if in case you will face any one teasing or seeing you inappropriately please do confront and raise your voice.  From there, we headed towards Bapu market and for that we got an auto for Rs. 100.

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We had needed more power to be on shopping coaster. So, we had sugarcane juice for Rs.10 each glass.  The view of the market was surely quirky and beautiful as always. My mates purchased a lot from there like Cotton Kurte, Show pieces, Lord Ganesha, door hanging Trinkets.  We also had famous ice cream Sunday according to the list ‘traffic sundae’ for Rs.40 at Bijwasi.

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For dinner we landed to “Thaliwala” near Jaipur Bus depot. We had Paneer Lababdar and Roti, sweet lassi.  Though they had cooked Lababdar more of like paneer butter masala.  Hence, It is a big no if you are a great foodie and in search of real taste and flavors.  For group of 5 people it cost Rs.612.

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Though the travel in the metro is so common in Metropolitan cities in India but it’s completely a different experience state wise. We travelled in Jaipur Metro from Bus depot to Railway Station. The information we collected is

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  • The last train is available at 9:30 pm
  • They are running metro at the loss of Rs.10 Lakh/day.
  • Limited to only 6 stations.

After roaming a lot and covering most of the distance on foot, had left us so tired. Hence the moment we crashed in the hotel room, we all slept. We all woke up just 10 minutes before to 1 am. Ergo we had to rush. The amazing journey had come to halt as we had our train to catch at 1:00 pm in the night from Jaipur railway station.  After travelling 6 hours in train we reached Purani Delhi from where we started our journey.  This trip was very important for me and surely it has helped me to gain more confidence. Now, I can take my travel buds along with me to explore this beautiful globe for sure.

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Trip to Dosa-Land : Bangalore

It was so early around 3:30am, for a normal human being to wake up and to catch a flight to Dosa-land.  Me and my friend eventually, succeeded in getting our wandering ardor to taken inside aero plane.

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I love capturing clouds

With all those women-centric conversations we fluttered towards our journey to Bangalore. The jaunt became more comfortable and exciting when you find a blunt creature to chat with same as like yourself , which happened with me. This time we decided to try food in flying craft, though I am not that huge fan of flight food. This time we ordered vegetarian food and got fruit’s pieces, cutlet, vermicelli poha and sambar and my favourite was sweet bun, enough for a less eating varmint like me.

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Vistara Airways : morning breakfast

The journey finally got completed in 2 hr 30 min and tadaa!!!! We landed in to the first guise of Bangalore.

It’s always better to book a cab afore or on the spot by opting airport cab or from apps (you might find difficult if you have slow internet connection), if you have enough money in your wallet as from airport to the main city, minimum charges that one can assume is of Rs.500. In total it took 2 hours to reach to the main city because of the traffic, Hence it’s better to call Bangalore a “traffic paradise”.

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first glance of Bangalore City from the cab

I had very less on my “see and do” list, this time as I was there only for 4 days. On the very first day I thought of exploring local arenas and I ended up in exploring Indranagar food stalls. I tried pineapple juice there (a big no, never try having fresh juice in Bangalore as they do charge double and moreover it comes out tasteless) and momos ,

for that I would give 4.5 stars out of 5. So it’s a must try!!

Finding auto and asking for bargain is something which every north Indians will face certain problem in. This is not the first time for me, I had been to dosa-land before also but I never understood this state wise discrimination. So it’s better to opt for ola-moto or uber pooling and not to forget umbrella all the time as there is no fixed time of drizzle and scorching heat show.  As being a momos fan I tried momos in HSR layout also which came out to be good enough for my satiatory glands.  Very next day me and my friend been to Christ university, famous in Bangalore to try canteen food and amazingly we got opportunity. We tried Mysore masala dosa just for 30 bucks and it was the yummiest of all in this range.  We tried lemonade for Rs.15 it was also okish.

Third day me and few more of my friends decided to roam around in Bangalore, the list had included

  • Cubbon Park
  • Bangalore Aquarium / government aquarium
  • G Road
  • Brigade Road
  • Forum Mall
  • To hit famous food joints

Bangalore Aquarium / government aquarium

It is inside the fence of Cubbon Park. The aquarium is administered by the Karnataka State Government Department of Fisheries.

1.jpgIt will cost you Rs.5 to take entry inside the aquarium.

5.jpgYou might feel disappointed as the pictures on the internet are completely different then the reality but yes you will see many cultivable and many quirky fishes.

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For once it’s good to visit and it hardly affects the pocket of any.

Cubbon Park

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wildlife fun 

The Cubbon Park, this place is in the heart of city opposite to M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. To reach here, it’s better to opt for cab. I would not go in depth of history and infrastructure but it’s a must visit as this place allows you to explore the calm side of busy lanes.

My steps to this park was like unfolding nature because at the very starting I found few eating joints inside the park later the way inside to the stagnant water is little captivating as you will find yourself lost in the world of bamboo trees and this was the only part of this park I liked the most.

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Stinky water boating

They will charge you Rs.10 for entry to the park and Rs 20 for the boating. Well I would not prefer to go for boating. The whole water is more of like a home for algae and your nostril will faint for sure for a while. Unfortunately the rain had deferred our trip for around 3 hours. If you will also face any natural shower then having some snacks at park government canteen would not be a bad option.

 

Best of all try filtered coffee for Rs.15, Plain Dosa for Rs.40, and Cotton Candy for Rs.20 (I am sure a big smile will come on the face of cotton candy lover).

M.G Road and Brigade Road

These roads are famous for many fine dining restaurants and brand shopping. Going to Brigade road is good if you will go in the evening as you will see much street lights hence it is compared to Las Vegas and also named as “Vegas of Bangalore”. M.G Road is good for shopping and for food. If you have enough money in your savings bin they head towards “The Tao Terraces”, the nice ambience and food for sure will treat your mind and tongue so wondrously for sure, respectively.

Forum Mall

Much hyped place for sure as you will not find it different than any other mall but yes it’s a ‘nain-mataka’ place for youngsters. So, If you believe in Love at first sight and mad for pouty pics to upload on Facebook/insta then do visit for sure.  With the help of my Bangalorian friend, we headed towards Kormangla and decided to have Hyderbadi briyani from “Spice Hyderabad” restaurant which had cost Rs. 500 for Boneless Hyderbadi Chicken Biryani.

Third Day, I decided to go to Nandi Hills to see all lofty beauty of Bangalore from the top. It is a must to visit place.

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on the way to Nandi hills

To reach here , one has to pay Rs.10 as entry charges and Rs.50 as DSLR / cam charges.  To see the beauty of this brown giant rink one should reach here before sunrise this is what had been told to me, but it’s OK if you will reach afterwards also.

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on the way back from Nandi hills

The beauty and the calmness will remain the same. To reach here it’s better to have own convince then relying on rest.  It is at the distance of 60 km from the Bangalore city.

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lovely nature at Nandi Hills

This place is perfect getaway on weekends to have some relaxing bones and perfect DP places. I had started jumping off like an immature bee,

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My favourite “tree houses”

the moment I saw many tree houses unfortunately most of them were ruined.

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famous for downhill cycling 

Monkeys here are trained enough to do any hominid activity like snatching lays packet and having some bit of it with slice in one hand.

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view of some rural areas from Nandi top

Must to carry:

  • Warm clothes as early morning it little chilly
  • Sport or hiking shoes
  • Water and munchies (be aware of monkeys around)

On fourth day, we decided to head towards Kormangla to explore various cafes and food joints. My series of searching cafe ended at newly open “Cafe Medley” to have nice conversation with friends staying at Bangalore. We had ordered Veg-Lasagnas, veg-pizza, peach flavoured ice –tea (must), strawberry kissed banana smoothie and grilled sandwiches. We all 4 ended up paying some amount of Rs.1000 for all these.

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pic courtesy: Zomato

This place is perfect for quick meetings and in budget restaurants moreover offers a perfect colourful space and bamboo swings to relax .

Keep this in your Must visit Rota.In return I opted for train.

 

Here I ended my quick hippie-trippy junket to Dosa –Land. Will be updating more  on the nook and corners of  Bangalore, soon. Till then keep craving for more.

 

The Jodhpur: the Histro-cultural land

In search of finding blue, I found myself lost in this histro-cultural land

79.jpgView of blue streets from Mehrangarh fort

The research had started a way before and bag packs were already packed a week afore with a list of to-do things in my travel diary. I had to choose very keenly, what to see, what not to as unfortunately I had only one and the half days to explore this culturally rich city.

I took Mandore express to reach Jodhpur from Purani Delhi railway station at 9:15pm, on Friday night.Find the pic here  .

IMG_20160422_204019.jpgPurani Delhi railway station

It took 9 hours to reach there. Around 4am, I felt strong chilled gust hitting my epidermal and Goosebumps worked as an alarm clock. I woke up to see out of the window to find the reason behind this amusing chilliness and I found small sand dunes all around with the green patches of thorny shrubs all over it. On the same note do not forget to carry thin woollen robe if you travelling by sleeper class or general.

The moment I stepped down from the train, the strong rays of rising sun hit my cornea.

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After clicking a bit here and there at station I headed towards hotel and my whole way to the hotel  I felt that its replica of Bhuj.  (http://www.caleidoscope.in/offbeat-travel/bhuj)

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The whole area was dry and most of the women were wearing red dupattas and most of the men there were in bright coloured turban and dhoti, but if you are fond of culture, tradition and architecture then you will fall in love with this city at a very first glance.

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With an itch of not wasting my whole day lying like a royal bee, I had first place to hit on that was the “Umaid Bhavan Palace”.

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Finding auto or local transport could be difficult for novices, though you can opt for lift but little scary to do that. Ola cabs are so frequently available there but keep GPS active on your multimedia box i.e. mobile. Fortunately in scorching heat I got an auto which took me to the palace and charged Rs.180.

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The whole way I was amazed to see all twists and turns of grey path to the palace, I know most of you will fall in love with same.

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After reaching on the top of this imperial settlement, I paid Rs.30 as an entrance fee to the museum no charges for the still camera.

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The museum shows the royal life in modern era with well conserve royal stances even from the basic to the high rendition like dining table, imported culinary, carpets, dresses and you will feel proud the moment you will see the achievements of great majesties of Jodhpur.

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They have got luxurious hotel rooms also to stay which is kind of impossible to see for common public as it highly chargeable and allowed to enter without prior booking. Do not forget to visit “Vintage Car Museum”. This place I would say 5 out 5, hence must visit. Perfect place for “DP ke liye photo” and to consider yourself as a part of royal world for a while.

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After wards I headed towards the “The Nai Sarak”, kind of heaven for shopaholic and foodies.

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One can find amazing leather work there. Various quirky bags, sling bags, mojaris (traditional shoes), yummy eateries.

So, must to-do list there?

  • Try “Makhaniya Lassi” for sure from Janta sweet Home which is at a very starting of the market, costs Rs.40 each (available in Rs.30 also).

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  • Leather bags ( do not forget to bargain as it’s not camel’s leather which they assure, moreover do not buy any animal skin product)
  • Try Lahsunia Bonda
  • Bhel-puri and Sev puri of Janta Sweet home is also must to try, costs Rs.40 each.
  • Jodhpuri Jutis alias Mojaris

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  • Buy Sangri and Jodhpuri Mirch
  • Try Mirch vada
  • Buy Sangri and Ker pickle
  • Jodhpuri crepe fabric made saari or dupattas (from handlooms).

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After that heads towards the “Sardar Market Cirdikot”, it’s a place where Clock towers has been placed like a mounted guard to keep Jodhpuris on punctual track.

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This place is under the regal provinces too as from the top of the fort one can easily see the all activities happening inside this royal fence. This place allows localite to showcase their culture and tradition to the tourists or travelers.

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Must to do list here

  • Buy Jhumkas (for Rs.100)
  • Buy Jodhpuri Bangles (Rs. 150-200)

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  • Be aware of hooligans
  • Do not forget to click (panorama) market and clock tower.

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Fortunately, in the evening I got the opportunity to attend one Jodhpur marriage which allowed me to experiment and explore with the local food and tradition. Gatte Ki Sabzi, Ker Sangri Sabzi (also known as Pachkutaa), Kaju Draksh ki Sabji, Traditional Kadhi, Gulab Jamun ki Sabzi, Saiv Tamatar ki Sabji, Lasan Ki Chutney, Besan barfi and much more. Moreover, I tried to be a quirky turban women like rest of the people there.

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You can also opt for visiting Bishnoi village and you can have the true vegetarian Jodhpuri food, though it will be a time taking process to satisfy the taste buds.

On second day, the sun was putting all heating blaze on our skin so do not forget to keep full sleeves clothes and a sun block.With few friends of mine, we headed towards a Dhabba (eating joint) to have breakfast.

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We all decided to try Jodhpuri Aalu ka Paratha, after 20 minutes of ‘starving and carving’ halt the parathas arrived and most of us were yanked to see the way they had made it. It was fried paratha and for about 15 minutes I struggled to get all oil soaked inside the tissue paper. Tasting the first bite of aalu paratha allowed my taste buds to expand as it was surely a yum treat for them though it was spicy but unforgettable till now.

We all landed up to see “Mehrangarh Fort” and “Jaswant Thada”.

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The history and culture have always allured me hence the fort was quiet humongous and magnificent at the first gaze. As an entrance charge, I end up paying Rs 60 plus Rs.100 for still camera. This place is perfect for a history lover and culture enthusiasts and architecture lover, might be heaven for some.

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All those Jharokhas and mirror palace reminded me of “Baji Rao Mastani” so do not forget to pose like a Princess.

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The best part of this fort is that they have categorized everything so well like they have cradle palace alias Palki Khana,

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entertainment yard where I met 97 years old personality , he is so good in demonstrating afeem and Hookah, moreover he poses when camera clicks.

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The stairs and the huge edifice structure were so beautiful. In only this part of fort and nearby area you will find blue coloured streets and houses so in tot you might not call Jodhpur, The blue city.

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To see all with much of interest and clicking you need at least 3 hours and do not forget to carry water with glucon D.

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“Csowkalao Mehal Terrace Restaurant”, do not forget to visit this place as sitting here and having glimpse of the fort is something you don’t want to miss for sure, though might be expensive for the pockets of some.

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We had to kind of rush as we had train to catch at 6:15pm towards Delhi.

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Do not forget to click Jodhpur Railway station because it completely embodies the state crowned heads and till now the phases of Jodhpur is still breathing in my travelling beam.

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